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Motorcyclists can help keep themselves safe

Motorcyclists have few protections against an accident. Unlike cars -- which have airbags, steel and safety glass - motorcycles offer little in the way of protection. Motorcyclists must rely on their own skill and the attention of others in order to remain safe.

While motorcyclists are often at the mercy of other drivers, they can take some safety matters into their own hands. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are many things that motorcycle riders can do to keep safe on Washington roadways.

First, motorcyclists can ensure that they are using the proper equipment when riding their bikes. This equipment can help to reduce the seriousness of the injuries that they may suffer should a motorcycle accident occur. The NHTSA recommends that motorcyclists wear a DOT approved helmet in order to prevent head injuries. Proper footwear -- preferably leather boots -- and leather gloves should also be worn. These help to ensure that a person has a proper grip on the motorcycle. Motorcyclists should also consider wearing long sleeved brightly colored jackets, long pants and eye protection when riding. These clothes can help to prevent road rash and other serious injuries should a crash occur.

In addition to the safety gear, the NHTSA also recommends that motorcyclists avoid risky behavior while riding. This includes avoiding tailgating, riding between lanes, driving while intoxicated or speeding. Instead, motorcyclists should follow all applicable traffic laws, drive defensively and use appropriate signals.

Despite safety measures, motorcycle accidents will still occur. Many of these are caused by other drivers who fail to see motorcycles. When motorcyclists are injured due to the negligence of another driver, it's important for them to know they may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Many of these accidents are fatal for the motorcyclist, and so it's also important for family members to know that they may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Attorneys with experience in these difficult and sensitive cases can help the injured or their family members to understand how the law may apply to the circumstances of their accident.

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